Youth Interview Panel – Edge of Care Youth Workers


In June and August 2023, five young people helped to appoint youth workers for the Council’s new Edge of Care team. The Edge of Care team supports young people who are at risk of entering the care system, and the adults around them.

The hiring managers, Catherine and Stuart, asked for the Participation Team’s help to get young people involved in recruiting the best people for the role. Of those who applied, they wanted to know:

  • Are the candidates able to come across well to young people? Do we think they would build good relationships with the young people they would be supporting in this role? 
  • Do we trust that the candidates will be able to work positively with young people in this role to help them overcome significant challenges?  
  • Do they understand the issues young people may be facing at risk of entering the care system? 

Catherine and Stuart recognise that young people are best-placed to help answer these questions. The young people that got involved in this recruitment process used their own experiences of working with professionals, knowledge and skills they learnt in preparation sessions, and their own personalities and confidence to explore the questions above.

After two rounds of recruitment, four people were appointed to be youth workers for the Edge of Care service.

How did we listen, act and respond?


The hiring managers listened by ensuring young people fed into the recruitment process for these important roles. The Participation Team helped to make this happen by facilitating the involvement of five young people.

  • In June, the Participation Team trialled a video approach. Candidates were asked to record themselves answering a question for young people to review. Two young people then reviewed the videos in a session with Participation Team colleagues and provided feedback. However, this approach did not provide the young people with enough insight into the candidates to make a fully informed decision, so one of the young people was then supported to interview a candidate online.
  • In August, the Youth Participation Team ran a youth interview panel with three young people. They met in County Hall in Aylesbury and interviewed three candidates who dialled in via MS Teams.

In both cases, the young people were provided with information and resources to help with their involvement, and they had freedom to decide questions and lead the interviews themselves.

In June, the hiring manager was provided with a summary of the young people’s feedback by the Participation Team. In August, Stuart joined the youth interview panel at the end of the session to hear the young people’s views directly.


Catherine and Stuart used this feedback provided by the young people to help decide which of the candidates were offered the role. Their feedback was treated with as much respect as the feedback from the professionals panel.


The panel members were informed of next steps through communications with Krissie and Angel in the Participation Team. They were kept up to date as the candidates were offered the positions, when they accepted, and when they were due to start in the role.

The young people also received One4All gift vouchers and a certificate of thanks for their time, effort, and valuable contribution.

picture of a certificate

Impact and Learning

The young people that took part enjoyed the opportunity and felt their views were valued.

“Quite happy with how it went. Good to help.”
– Young person MS


“Yes, I enjoyed it.
Wonderful workers, such as Chrissie & Angel.”
– Young person KA

The young people gained useful work experience and skills.

“I can potentially in-future be able to interview and question people in a professional and calming way.”
– Young person KA


“Nice to know what goes on behind the scenes”
– Young person MS

The hiring manager gained useful insights from the young people involved, which was used to make an informed decision on who to appoint.

“Thank you and the young people involved for all their support.”
– Hiring manager Catherine

The Participation Team trialled a video feedback approach but decided this method of involving young people in recruitment is less effective than a Youth Interview Panel.

“It was worth a try, but we will stick to conversation-based approaches in future.”
– Krissie, Youth Participation Coordinator

These short-term opportunities enabled two new young people to get involved in youth participation. They are now being supported to access other youth participation opportunities in the Youth Voice Bucks programme.

“Signing up to an ongoing youth forum or big project can seem daunting. Short-term, ad-hoc opportunities like interview panels can be a great stepping stone to help more young people get involved.”
– Krissie, Youth Participation Coordinator

Interested in getting involved?

If you are interested in taking part in an opportunity like this one, please contact the Participation Team.

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